Studying Jesus Christ’s experience in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection helps us appreciate his willing, loving sacrifice. These articles from BYU Studies Quarterly delve deeply into the Atonement and its meaning for us.
“Narrative Atonement Theology in the Gospel of Mark,” Julie M. Smith, BYU Studies Quarterly 54, no. 1
Mark’s Gospel teaches about the Atonement of Christ not through discourses on theology but through narrative. This article focuses on three events that happen immediately after Jesus dies: the rending of the temple veil, the centurion’s statement, and the women watching and ministering. Mark uses each story to explain the meaning of Jesus’s atoning death.
“Empathy and the Atonement,” Tyler Johnson, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 4
This essay shares insights into Alma’s teaching on the Atonement of Christ, which depicts a personal act of willing sacrifice wherein the Savior enters into our suffering with each of us one at a time. Similarly, as we embrace the Atonement, we willingly seek to serve, console, and nourish everyone around us.
“‘My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?’: Psalm 22 and the Mission of Christ,” Shon D. Hopkin, BYU Studies Quarterly 52, no. 4
Psalm 22 is a prophecy of the events of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion in detail, including his statement spoken from the cross.
“The Search for the Physical Cause of Jesus Christ’s Death,” W. Reid Litchfield, BYU Studies 37, no. 4
Clues in the Bible describing Jesus’s crucifixion have led to theories of the physical cause of his death (a ruptured heart, asphyxia, etc.). In this article, Reid Litchfield examines those proposals and makes his own argument that Jesus died of a cardiac arrhythmia.
“Dating the Death of Jesus Christ,” Jeffrey R. Chadwick, BYU Studies 54, no. 4
While we can’t be certain, evidence suggests that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday in the spring of AD 30, on the eve of Passover, the 14-day Jewish month Nisan, which in that year fell on April 6 in the old Julian calendar. This article examines the Bible, Book of Mormon, the Mishnah, and historical, archaeological, and astronomical studies.
“The Use of Gethsemane by Church Leaders, 1859-2018,” John Hilton and Joshua P. Barringer, BYU Studies Quarterly 58, no. 4
Critics have stated that Latter-day Saints look to Gethsemane rather than the cross as the place of the Atonement. These researchers counted references to Christ’s death and analyzed their themes, concluding that Church leaders clearly emphasize the cross over Gethsemane.
“The Teachings of Church Leaders Regarding the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, 1852-2018,” John Hilton III, Emily K. Hyde, McKenna Grace Trussel, BYU Studies Quarterly 59, no. 1
This research, a companion to the previous article, looks at the themes Church leaders are teaching when they discuss Christ’s crucifixion. Some talks narrate, some point to the Resurrection, and some teach about redemption or ordinances or Christ’s suffering or other themes. This study shows an emphasis on Christ atoning for sins on the cross.
“Death Being Swallowed Up in Netzach in the Bible and the Book of Mormon,” David Larsen, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 4
Netzach is a Hebrew word with meanings including shine, distinguish oneself, splendor, conquer, be permanent, supervise, lead, and to be clear and pure. It is possible that this word is the root of words that appear in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 16:8; Alma 22:14; Alma 27:28) that teach Christ’s crucifixion and atonement.
“The Israelite Roots of Atonement Terminology,” T. Benjamin Spackman, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1
This article studies three English terms, atonement, salvation, and redemption, in relation to their Hebrew equivalents and their associated concepts within the Hebrew Bible.
“The Appearance of Elijah and Moses in the Kirtland Temple and the Jewish Passover,” Stephen D. Ricks, BYU Studies 23, no. 4
When Jesus, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, was it the Jewish Passover? In the broad sense that the Passover is more than one day, the answer is affirmative. This timing symbolically connects these heavenly visitors to their prophetic responsibilities.
“The Perils of Grace,” Robert Millet, BYU Studies Quarterly 53, no. 2
Latter-day Saints use a vocabulary of the Atonement different from that of other Christians, but we can learn from each other. Latter-day Saints do believe that grace is not easy but requires faithfulness and obedience, which is at odds with beliefs of some others. Christ’s grace is more than making up what we lack at the judgment bar; it is his divine favor and enabling power extended to us every day.
“By Simple Yet Propitious Means: The Art of Jorge Cocco Santangelo,” Herman du Toit, BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 2
This article includes many beautiful images of Christ, including one of Christ returning to his body at the Resurrection. Open the PDF to see the images.